Sweeping Changes to Medical Marijuana from Lawyer for Federal Contractor?

January 20, 2008

Tim King, Salem-News (OR)

Advocates for medical marijuana say a lawyer who often represents huge federal contractors is seeking to radically modify Oregon's Medical Marijuana Program.

Oregon already has the most restrictive medical marijuana program in the nation. Advocate Dan Keys says Dan Harmon, an attorney with Hoffman Corporation, is trying to implement sweeping changes that would limit patients to possession of only two ounces and three plants.

And he says the lawyer tried to do it quietly. One of the proposed changes we are told, would exempt employees from collective bargaining.

Patients are not allowed to buy or sell marijuana in Oregon, even for legal marijuana use, so growing or having another person grow for them is one of the only options for actually possessing the herb.

Keys cites recent announcements and advancements in the medical world about medical marijuana use. It was announced recently by German researchers that marijuana helps slow and reverse cancer, (See this article from January 11th 2008: Breakthrough Discovered in Medical Marijuana Cancer Treatment) and that even kids are not affected by marijuana the way the federal government would have you believe. (See this article from November 8th 2007: Study Shows Surprisingly Few Negative Impacts on Kids Who Use Marijuana.

The two main groups that want to use the idea of the "drug free workplace" against medical marijuana are the insurance companies and the pharmaceutical industry.

If they read the news, then they, along with the attorney Dan Harmon from Hoffman Construction, know that marijuana is not a harmful substance, and that a person's use at home is their private business, only subject to legal ramifications because these companies have infiltrated our general privacy so soundly that they regularly inspect an individual's urine.

One of the founding business owners in the "drug screening" or "urinalysis" industry is a woman who lives in Salem, Oregon. I won't use her name because while not off the record, she never intended for her words to be published I'm sure. This was prior to the first employer versus medical marijuana patient lawsuits which went in the favor of the employer.

This drug testing founder talked about how a few people created the idea of drug testing employees during the 1980's and how they were able to work with insurance companies in order to ratchet up business.

She clearly stated that her industry would face extinction if laws that allow this practice were ever banished or reversed. Of course it is an industry that is worth billions now. She undoubtedly has been happy as courts have continued to side with employers in other cases.

I often wonder how the G.I.'s who stormed the beaches at Normandy or the Marines at Iwo Jima, would have felt about peeing in a bottle so that the government knew what they did last Saturday night. In my humble opinion and that of many others, our privacy has been ransacked by this practice.

A meeting will be held Tuesday morning, January 22nd, at the state capitol we are told, that will see this issue brought forward by attorney Dan Harmon.

We understand this will take place at 9:00 AM in Hearing Room B at the state capitol in Salem. Dan Keys explains that this move from Harmon, who is not a state legislator, has flown under the radar and that Kevin Mannix's efforts to bring forth legislation to eliminate the state, voter endorsed program was just a smokescreen to allow Harmon's plan to gain ground.

"Our understanding is that this attorney's plan will almost eliminate our state program. By telling people they can only have three plants, they are saying that an already overly restrictive program will be made impossible."

Keys says he believes that the corporate world is masking an attempt to practically end the program because they know the election will bring a different feeling to the federal government and it is likely the federal restrictions will ease along with the change in leadership.

That will mean that more patients will grow without harassment from federal agents, known now for dragging sick old ladies out of their wheelchairs for possessing something that grows naturally out of the ground and has been an effective treatment for almost countless ailments for thousands of years.

It will mean people will buy fewer addictive narcotics from the greedy but not stupid pharmaceutical industry, and they are not happy about it. Keys says Harmon's goals are consistent with those of a government and system that are nearing their final days.

He hopes advocates join him in attending the hearing and any other events related to the attempt at passing modifications that would greatly affect the state program. Keys adds that Harmon's bill allegedly carries stronger legal penalties for users who cross the legal limit.

Salem-News.com will be there, it is no secret that we have respect for Oregon voters' wishes and rights and we are on the record. Medical marijuana is legal in Oregon, marijuana has never caused a death. It is time that people move past the old propaganda from the "Reefer Madness" days of the 1930's and into the 21st Century where simple natural remedies are acceptable to most people, in a world that has much bigger problems.

If there is anything about marijuana that is truly harmful and if it has ever been caused a death and you know about it, they by all means visit this story, Giuliani, McCain, Romney Offered $20,000 to Prove Medical Marijuana Claims and file your claim. This serious offer has been made several times in recent years and in spite of the federal government's position, it always goes unclaimed.

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